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Self-sufficiency and a better future for rural women in India

We continue our efforts to feature goods that we love, ones that are handcrafted using traditional techniques, handmade by independent, small-scale artisan groups, and ones that support sustainable working practices. Our recent partnership with Indian charity, Aham Bhumika is another step in this direction.

The beautiful range of hand embroidered charity-made cushion covers on sale on our website have proven to be quite popular, with only a few products left in stock. Each cushion cover has been hand-embroidered by an artisan from a village on the outskirts of Bhopal, India, as part of The Embroidery Project, an Aham Bhumika initiative.

A group of women embroidering cloth

Based in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh in India, Aham Bhumika is a Non-Government Organisation that works to equip underprivileged women living in rural areas with the skills they need to earn a living and become self-sufficient. So far, The Embroidery Project has taught more than 30 women how to create products such as sarees, tote bags and cushion covers which they can then sell to generate an income.

A group of women embroidering cloth

 

Quirky, fun, sophisticated… something for everyone!

Ten different designs are available to choose from, and there’s something for everyone, from the fun, the quirky, and the vibrant, to the sophisticated, charming and elegant. Each square cushion cover measures 16 X 16 inches, is made from cotton, and has a tie-back fastening so it can be removed from the cushion for washing. The quality and attention to detail on each cover make them a wonderful and unique addition to any home, or business.

Many of the designs on the cushion covers are inspired by Gond art, a tribal art form of Central India. The Gonds, are the largest tribal (Adivasi) community in India and are Dravidian's whose origin can be traced to the pre-Aryan era. The word Gond comes from Kond, which means green mountains in the Dravidian idiom. Read more about the contemporary evolution of this art form.

Gond art is particularly evident in the Gond Deer cushion (£19.50), a whimsical pink deer with sprawling antlers, and The Turbaned Indian Man (£19.50), who is certain to evoke a smile. The Turbaned Indian Man is inspired by a Kisan, a stereotypical, bidi-smoking farmer with a big turban and exaggerated moustache. 

 Gond art deer cushion cover

Gond Deer cushion (£19.50)

Turbaned Man cushion cover

The Turbaned Indian Man (£19.50)

Other designs include delightful Bugs and Butterflies (£17.50), Colourful Bunting (£16.50), the slightly mystical Birds (£17.50) and Sea Creatures (£17.50) and the quirky Eyes cushion (£16.50).

Birds cushion cover

Birds (£17.50)

Bugs and butterflies cushion covers

Bugs and Butterflies (£17.50)

Eyes cushion cover

'Eyes' cushion cover (16.50)

For those who prefer monochrome or geometrical patterns, the Circular Patterned Cushion (£16.50) and Geometric Cushion Cover (£16.50) are inspired by Sashiko, a form of Japanese folk embroidery.

Shashiko cushion covers

Shop for a cause

When you purchase an Aham Bhumika cushion cover from The Elephant Head, you not only benefit from a quality cushion that has been pre-shrunk and pre-washed for your convenience but is also helping to fund this incredibly worthwhile organisation.

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